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John F. Kennedy: The A...
Alan Brinkley
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John F. Kennedy: The American Presidents Series: The 35th President, 1961-1963 (The American Presidents #35)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  118 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The young president who brought vigor and glamour to the White House while he confronted cold war crises abroad and calls for social change at home

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a new kind of president. He redefined how Americans came to see the nation's chief executive. He was forty-three when he was inaugurated in 1961—the youngest man ever elected to the office—and he pers
ebook, 224 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Times Books (first published September 1st 2010)
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Doreen Petersen
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: presidents
A life cut far too short. What might have been we'll never know. A must read.
Stefan Fergus
This is a well-written, concise biography of a popular president. The balance is perhaps a little off - given JFK's assassination, Brinkley doesn't spend as much time on the years before as he could have. Maybe that's because JFK doesn't actually offer that much to write about - he was an apathetic-at-best student, Representative and Senator.

However, I still don't find JFK particularly interesting. He wasn't a particularly good president, and his life and career were the product of his father's
Gary Schantz
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I liked about the book the most was the fact that it didn't idealize John Kennedy like so many books have done in the past. I liked that it was very matter of fact about several items such as how young and immature he was when he became president and how this played a big role in his fear of committment (as well indecisiveness) to many things such as civil rights, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.

The very first book I ever read when I was 8 years old was about JFK. As a child I read about what a great ma
Steven Peterson
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another nice entry in the American Presidents series, originally edited by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr and--after his death-[-Sean Wilentz. In this instance, there is some poignancy in that' Schlesinger was an adviser to Kennedy. The books in this series are brief, making information available to readers who do not want massive 600 page biographies. In that, most of the volumes succeed (although I prefer such massive works!!).

The work itself takes a chronological perspective on Kennedy. We le
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the past decade, "The American Presidents" series has churned out a series of biographies of our nation's leaders written by a diverse range of authors, from historians who draw upon their expertise to inform their interpretation of their subject, to more eclectic writers who inform their efforts with a sometimes refreshingly new perspective. Alan Brinkley fits squarely into the first category: a longtime scholar of 20th century America, he brings the skills and knowledge gained a lifetime o ...more
John Weber
Excellent short biography of the man who left the world with more hope than he found it.
Robin Friedman
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Kennedy (1917 -- 1963) served as the 35th president from 1961 until his assassination on November 22, 1963. Many baby boomers, including myself, have strong memories of Kennedy; and many people of all ages tend to see his presidency as a watershed moment for the United States. Alan Brinkley offers a sober, thoughtful, and measured account of Kennedy's life and presidency in his new short biography, "John F. Kennedy", the most recent volume in the American Presidents series edited by the lat ...more
Kate Allen
Book Bingo Category: Presidential
Pages: 158

Summary: "John F. Kennedy" written by Alan Brinkley is a biography about the compelling life of the thirty-fifth president of the United States. Starting with his birth to an Irish- Catholic family in Brookline, Massachusetts and throughout his interesting childhood, Jack Kennedy was determined to be great. He was born into a successful family and was always popular and widely-liked, starting in his youth. Jack, although active, constantly struggled wit
Zach Koenig
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading the Truman & Eisenhower books in the American Presidents series and being very disappointed by those entries, I was really hoping that the J.F.K. installment would revive my interest. It did the trick, as I flew through this one faster than many previous!

I think the reason that this bio works so well is because it seems that author Alan Brinkley doesn't really like Kennedy all that much (or, at least doesn't buy into the "Myth of Camelot" like some do). However, that being said
Debbie Jacob
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, concise biography of Kennedy. An enjoyable read.
Brice Fuqua
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brief biography of the contradictory presidency of JFK. Debunks a number of myths about Camelot. But also presents a balanced appraisal of his short administration.
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The purpose of this book is for the world to know who John F. Kennedy really was. Alan Brinkley is of the belief that John F. Kennedy was one of the greatest leaders known to man. John F. Kennedy is a book that captivates the reader on every aspect of the man’s life. This book teaches readers that a few good deeds can go a long way. As Kennedy remains an inspiring figure to this day, Brinkley also points out his flaws. It is a detailed description of the man himself as never seen before. All of
Alec Rogers
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination has engendered numerous new studies of all aspects of John Kennedy’s life and presidency, ranging from the critical to the fawning. For those who wish to take stock of the Kennedy Presidency without axe grinding, Alan Brinkley’s 2012 entry in the American Presidents Series provides a succinct, up to date and highly judicious survey. In just over 200 pages (including notes, bibliography and index), Brinkley touches on all phases of Kennedy’s personal ...more
Aug 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historian Alan Brinkley’s biography of John F. Kennedy is a succinct and balanced account of an enormously complex, cunning and yet cautious man whose attitude toward the American presidency seems to have been that power, once attained, is better preserved than employed. He won The White House by a very narrow margin, never had control of his own party in Congress, and saw more wisdom in postponing battles than taking them on.

In a sense Kennedy wasn’t the liberal, activist politician that is par
John Melvin

This is a balanced and readable account of JFK's life, focussing on his career as president with its achievements, foibles and failures.
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When any of the ~150 page books in the series manage to give a sense of the president's personality, invoke the zeitgeist of his - sadly, his is still the appropriate pronoun - term in office, and effectively describe the accomplishments and the failures of his tenure, the book has succeeded. Alan Brinkley's stab at writing on of these biographies is a definite success. In describing the term in office, he prefers to dwell in depth in just a few areas (mainly cold war relations with Russia and C ...more
Alicia Joy
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was truly one of those books you just cannot put down, and that feeling does not come about as a result of the subject matter, but of the author's style. Brinkley takes a very neutral position in describing JFK and this was a very important task for this entry in the series.
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting for a history book... not a big fan of politics and history though!
Jason Chambers
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-7coldwar
Surprisingly thorough for 158 pages.
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best of the American President Series. Great deal of information. Mr. Brinkley reveals Kennedy's life without showing his admitted deep admiration of the president.
Steven Freeman
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Good overview of his political career and presidency. Complex man that was not a great president, but forever changed political discourse and possibilities for the country.
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book covered Kennedy's history in just the right amount of depth and detail. Stories and facts were well-documented and handled with objectivity.
Sep 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The selection process behind what made the book and what didn't is sort of odd. So many gaps. It is a dull, dry read.
Kevin Hartigan
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  • Jimmy Carter (The American Presidents, #39)
  • Gerald R. Ford (The American Presidents, #38)
  • James A. Garfield (The American Presidents, #20)
  • Richard M. Nixon (The American Presidents, #37)
  • William Henry Harrison
  • George H. W. Bush (The American Presidents, #41)
  • Harry S. Truman (The American Presidents, #33)
  • John Adams
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower (The American Presidents, #34)
  • Theodore Roosevelt (The American Presidents, #26)
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • James Buchanan
  • Andrew Johnson
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt (The American Presidents, #32)
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Woodrow Wilson (The American Presidents, #28)
  • Andrew Jackson
  • John Quincy Adams

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The American Presidents (1 - 10 of 41 books)
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